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5 Must Read Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is a time for fun, but don't forget about the dangers that may be lurking for your family and your home. The break from the ordinary means that plenty of opportunities are there for criminals looking to catch you unsuspecting. Here are a few tips to keep you and your family safe this Halloween:

Inspect costumes and accessories carefully.

Look for flame-retardant costumes that don't restrict your children's movement, hitting them at the ankles rather than dragging on the ground. The chosen costume should be warm enough for a chilly autumn night, and bright or light in color to make your children easier to see in the dark. Though kids look for costumes according to their own criteria, you as an adult cannot let safety slide. Glow sticks or necklaces are fun accessories that also add a safety element. Shoes should be easy to walk in to keep your kids comfortable all night and avoid restricting their movement. Consider face paint instead of a mask that would restrict your child's vision or hearing.

Always stay with your kids.

An adult must always accompany younger children, even if they stay within a relatively safe neighborhood. Kids and adults should stay together as a group; even on Halloween, letting young children wander around alone after dark simply is not safe. Older kids may be allowed to go out in a group without an adult, though remember to remind them about staying on sidewalks rather than in the road, obeying traffic signals, and never entering anyone's home or vehicle, even with the promise of candy. Agree on a route and curfew before they leave.

If you consider your children responsible enough to go out trick-or-treating without you, equip them with a small pepper spray canister, a personal alarm, a cell phone, and a flashlight so that they can deal with anything that comes their way, from an attacking pet dog to a strange neighbor.

Guard your home.

Halloween is a unique opportunity for burglars and other criminals because people outdoors at night do not arouse as much suspicion on this holiday. When you leave to trick-or-treat, lock all of your doors and windows, and leave a light on. Make sure that your trusted neighbors know you will be gone so that they can keep an eye on anyone strange prowling around your place in the dark.

Inspect the treats.

Upon children's return from trick-or-treating, inspect their treats. Though there is some media hype about the dangers of Halloween candy, the truth is, doctored candy is possible. Look for unwrapped pieces, or pieces that may have been re-wrapped. Discard any candies that don't look safe.

With the excitement surrounding the Halloween holiday, it is easy to forget basic safety rules. To keep your family safe while trick-or-treating, dress properly, bring pepper spray and other protection devices, make sure your home is protected, and never eat the candies you get without inspecting them.

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